Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Goodnight 2013
Last year, I called 2012 a humdinger of a year, well this year I'm calling 2013 a rollercoaster - periods of intense activity and an awful lot of waiting around, faffing and generally not doing much at all!

I started the year on a high - Stateside for New Year's Eve and my birthday was an amazing experience, made all the better by being in the company of someone very special to me. It was his encouragement that gave me the idea for my 20 Days of Gold Making meme which turned out to be one of the best ideas I've had for a long time! Over 25 other bloggers joined in and for most of January, the gold blogging community was regaled with stories of how we got to where we were in gold making and some of the pitfalls and successes we'd had along the way.

Late in January, I also started my email newsletter - a simple way to get my posts delivered directly to your email inbox and a great way to get around workplace internet restrictions! I wrote a few extra posts to send out just for subscribers and I have more planned so if you haven't signed up yet, why not? Did I mention subscriber only giveaways too? lol

Dance 21
In April, I finally managed to get a proper job - yup - I'm back in an office, driving my boss crazy and ploughing through a backlog that had built up. It's a charity that works with disabled people to raise awareness of disabilities in the workplace and helps all kinds of disabled people to get work. We also run a payroll and accounting service for disabled people to get the help they need without the headache of invoices and payroll requirements. I love it and in December, I volunteered to photograph an event taking place in our local shopping centre. What a buzz that was! I'd forgotten how much I love taking photographs and the kids involved were amazing too!

In July, after a guest spot on the Journal of Marcus Ty podcast, I joined Marcus as his regular co-host and what a blast that has been! With his awful, corny jokes, gold making tips and even me singing publicly for the first time, it has been and hopefully will continue to be, one of the best things I've done in a long time. I also guested on Eviscerated Gaming Podcast a couple of times this year and I've been invited to guest on another podcast or two in the next couple of weeks.

You may have guessed by now that I love to chat with people - podcasting and talking about WoW for fun is something I never thought I'd be doing when I started playing WoW back in 2009 but then, I never thought I'd be blogging on two blogs about it either! WoW is so much more than just a game - the community around it may not be the most gentle or civilised group of people I've met but by golly, they are a passionate, talented bunch and it's that passion that brings the drama.

In the spirit of community, I started my Saturday Celebrations - Milestone Interviews in September. It's a weekly post dedicated to YOUR stories and milestones in gold making. We're up to 14 guest posts there now and I still have a few lined up. It's your chance to have a little bit of internet space to tell the world how you got to a milestone - and that's any milestone, from 10,000 gold to 5 million gold - all your achievements are worthy of a few minutes of fame and with so many different ways to get there, they are all different too. Not everyone wants to write a regular blog about WoW but this way, everyone can have a little space to tell their tales of their goblin careers!

And that brings us to December and my current mini-project, 30 Minutes a Day - I've enjoyed it but it has been way more frustrating than I expected. I have a few ideas for the new year and of course, I'll still be chatting with Marcus every two weeks, blogging here and there and playing WoW too.

My personal life has had it's ups and downs too - if you've been around a while, you may remember I struck out on my own last year. Well, the house finally sold and that plus the job has given me a little financial stability at last. I've been fighting depression for years too but with everything that's been happening, I just haven't had time to even think about it this year. I still have a few bad days here & there but Cold has been holding my hand along the way and with his humour and good heart, I've kept myself positive and moving/looking forward.

© Helen Shorey
My plans for 2014 are still in a state of flux - my job is a fixed term contract that ends in June and my divorce should be final around then too. After that, who knows what I'll be doing or where I'll end up, I sure don't although of course, I have my hopes and dreams to keep me going. As for blogging and the future of AH Addict - that's a given, I love this blog and my other one too (She Rides Dragons) so although my posting frequency may drop off a bit, I'll still be here.

I really want to get my photography blog going again and that is one thing I wanted to do in 2013 that didn't happen. To give myself a bit of a push about that though, I've bought a domain name and I'm looking at self-hosting for it although for now, I'll stay with Blogger. If you want to have a peek at some of my photography, you can find it at helenshorey.com but it is a bit neglected for now.

And then there's my joint venture blog with Cold - we started Gifts for Gamers and Geeks back in September with a few Amazon based gift guides. They were just fillers until we got the meatier posts done but blogger/google decided they didn't like us and made us rethink how we were going to move forward. It took them over a month to tell us though so we lost a bit of drive & enthusiasm there but it's still a live project that hopefully will take off a bit more in 2014 too.

Oh my gosh, this post got big! I told you at the start it had been a rollercoaster year though! I have high hopes for 2014 being my year - I feel as though I've been under a huge cloud for years and am finally breaking through to some sunshine. I probably won't see much sunshine with all this blogging I'm planning on doing but at least I'll know it's there, right?

One last paragraph then I'll stop writing, I promise! A HUGE THANK YOU to all my readers, my Twitter friends and podcast listeners - without you, I'm not sure I'd have kept going so long. I love getting your emails - whether they be questions, suggestions or just hello's. I love reading your comments here and on Twitter too. It's those little bits of conversations that help keep me going in so many ways and I hope you enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them. I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope your 2014 is looking bright, exciting and of course, prosperous too!


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